If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India. – Max Mueller
We invite you on a journey through some of the most beautiful and iconic parts of India where we will be re-imagining the dialogue around community, sustainable development and education through a permanent culture lens. Immersed in the vibrant culture and traditions of the sub-continent, we will participate in gift culture workshops, ‘wisdom walks’, learn about ancient crafts and farming practices and discover what it means to work towards a ‘heart vision’. The intention is to challenge ourselves to think about things differently, to engage new thought processes, inspire new ideas and motivate us to bring better and more conscious practices into our lives, our work, our neighbourhoods and the world in which we live.
This trip is open to anyone interested in communities, the world around us and how we relate to them.
Day 1: Mumbai – Dharavi Slums
We will stop briefly in Mumbai on our way from Hyderabad to Udaipur giving us the opportunity to visit and explore Dharavi, one of the largest slums in Asia and home to 1 million inhabitants. Although incredibly poor, Dharavi is also an amazingly industrious and vibrant place, sometimes called the beating heart of Mumbai. The visit will offer a unique glimpse into the chaotic beauty, and nuances, as well as the challenges and struggles of informal and unplanned spaces and life in the slums.
From Mumbai we will catch another overnight sleeper train to Udaipur.
Day 2 – 10: Udaipur – Shikshanter
All education is, on the one side a search for the truth, on the other a pursuit of social betterment. – Radhakrishnan
For the final stage of the trip we will head to the magical “white city” of Udaipur in the desert state of Rajasthan. Here we visit and work with the inspiring organisation Shikshanter. Also known as the institute of unlearning, Shikshantar is a life movement and was founded to challenge the culture of schooling and institutions of thought-control. They believe that it is necessary to engage communities in regenerative modes of lifelong societal learning which grow from a larger understanding of and respect for human potential and dignity, dynamic learning processes and relationships, pluralistic identities, traditional knowledge systems, cultural contexts, the human spirit and connection to the web of life.
They have many projects that they work on in their local region all of which we will have the opportunity to explore.
Our activities with them will include:
- 2 day village visit to learn about the ancient food and farming traditions. This will involve spending one night out in the village where our group can work in the farm with farmers and learn about the local seed trail. Whilst there we will also visit the tribal forest community to understand relations between forest dwellers and forest.
- Meet Swaraj University youth learners at Tapovan Ashram. Learn about natural farming and naturopathy.
- Illegal mining and local economy village visit.
- Wisdom Walk (to explore traditional knowledge) in the old city of Udaipur.
- Visit to the local dump site and engagements with the community who live and make a living off there.
- Up-cycling Waste Workshops, Herbal Soap Making Workshop and Slow Food Cooking Workshops @ Shikshantar and EcoHut
- Visit to different organizations around Udaipur working on solutions (traditional water, traditional healers, gift culture projects, organic food).
- Visit to local artisans and traditional communities (potter, bamboo, miniature painter, broom maker, etc.).
- Dinner at family homes.
Depending on the skills of those who come with us, we have also been asked by Shikshantar if we can undertake a 2 day permablitz of their garden, aligning with CERES Global principles, bringing in an element of mutual exchange.
The trip will end in Udaipur on day 10.
For more information visit: www.swarajuniversity.org
We are happy to help you with fundraising initiatives to make this experience a reality.
Testimonials from those that travelled with us on our previous trip to India
The 10 days moved me, I had to sit in spaces that felt uncomfortable, I realised that my frame of reference was very Western and the power imbalance in the way I work with community was apparent. I experienced the joy of being vulnerable, the importance of sharing and starting with the strengths in any situation, how essential it is to change my language and question my motivation and intentions and most of all it confirmed that I will always be inspired by community and it is a place that I want to be….. I consider this as a gift given to me and I will share it in many different ways to be able to keep the spirit of what was given to me alive. (Nalika Peiris, Unit Manager Community Development and Social Policy at Moreland City Council and India Trip, Jan 2017 traveller)
I feel very privileged and blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in the CERES Global tour. The best thing is knowing that you are travelling with facilitators and other people who also care deeply about environmental and social issues/ sustainability, and that the program is focused on learning exchange rather than destination tourism. Sophie and Maddi (the facilitators) managed to strike a beautiful balance between being ‘present’ and contributing to the group’s learnings as opposed to being ‘tour guides… I am still reflecting on my experiences and learnings and their ongoing influences on my thinking and practice. Even so, I know my learnings have been deep and enduring… Go with an open heart and mind and both will be filled to an extent far greater than you ever could have anticipated. (Deb, India Trip, Jan 2017).
An outstanding journey (Chris, India Trip, Jan 2017).
Our travels with Ceres have been amazing, thank you for all your support, help, and especially your quiet, gentle presence through all our adventures. (Toni, India Trip, Jan 2017).
The best thing about travelling with CERES is being with people, who although different, all had a certain unity of purpose. I like working within a framework of things to do and CERES created that for me and facilitated it lovingly (Terry, India Trip, Jan 2017).
Travelling with CERES Global to India was a profound group experience. I felt privileged to witness and become part of the powerful community connections that CERES has created and nurtured over the years (Past CERES Global participant, India 2011).
Our next trip
1 Days Mumabi
9 Days Udaipur
How much will it cost?
CERES Global are currently working alongside the Jamnya and Pal community in Tribal Maharashtra on the Jamnya Project. With funding from Environ, the project has been a great success in sustainable building, transfer of skills, women’s empowerment, and equity.
News from India
The biggest congratulations to, Dr Jason Sargent, our friend and partner who we work with in delivering the IT for Social impact Trips to India, and who has achieved global success at this year’s QS International [...]
This article is was originally published in Swinburne Media on 4th March 2016. Swinburne University of Technology students are moving beyond the classroom and applying their IT and business skills to help remote tribal communities [...]
The CERES Global team are raising funds to help send some of the team over to Jamnya in March. The Start Some good campaign is now live so follow the links and donate a few [...]